No. 11A Northern Lakes prevailed in a hard-hitting boys hockey game winning 5-2 over Detroit Lakes at Kent Freeman Arena Tuesday, Feb. 16.
The Lightning scored the first three goals of the game, which was enough to hold off any Laker rally.
Detroit Lakes continued to be snakebit around the goal crease. The Lakers had an early chance to grab the lead when Ben Hines gaped at a wide open left half of the Lightning net on a successful forecheck but could not corral the puck to get a shot off.
Six minutes later, Northern Lakes had taken control of the offensive zone and held an 11-1 advantage in shots.
Jamison St. Clair and Zach Ehnstrom scored late goals for a 2-0 lead heading to intermission. Ehnstrom’s goal gave the Lightning extra momentum scoring top shelf on a one-timer from Hunter Nybakken beating Laker goalie Jack Hines with just 36 seconds left in the period.
Nybakken opened the second period with the eventual game-winner getting the puck over a sprawling Hines less than three minutes into the frame.
Laker head coach Ben Noah pulled Hines for Elijah Blow to try to change game momentum.
Tommy Fritz answered the call two minutes later scoring off a Jacob McAllister assist to get back within two goals down 3-1. McAllister’s quick shot created an unusual rebound and Fritz knocked the puck past Lightning goalie Adler Hoagland.
Ehnstrom scored his second goal of the game on the power play midway through the period to go to the third leading 4-1.
Fritz set up a Levi Gross goal three minutes into the final period to give the Lakers new life trailing 4-2 but an interference minor to Rian Solberg squashed the increasing momentum for the home team and caused Noah to get into it with the officials.
Hoagland, the goalie, set up Owen Miller’s goal 10 seconds after the penalty was called and Noah went after the officials getting a bench minor and an ejection for his efforts.
He will miss the upcoming game after giving the referee a closer look at a DL clipboard with a frisbee toss of it onto the ice as he departed the bench.
The final four minutes of play were testy for both benches and the refs including multiple big hits, both legal and worthy of a penalty from both teams, whether or not the calls were actually made.
Northern Lakes improved to 9-1 after an eighth straight victory.
Detroit Lakes dropped to .500 at 5-5 heading into Thursday’s section game at East Grand Forks (5-5).
Northern Lakes 5, Detroit Lakes 2
NL 2 2 1 - 5
DL 0 1 1 - 2
NL - Jamison St. Clair
NL - Zach Ehnstrom (Hunter Nybakken, Colton Craig)
NL - Hunter Nybakken (Colton Craig, Caiden Kjelstrom)
NL - Tommy Fritz (Jacob McAllister)
NL - Zach Ehnstrom (power play) (#33 Hunter Nybakken)41
DL - Levi Gross (Tommy Fritz)
NL - Owen Miller (Adler Hoagland)
Saves: NL - Adler Hoagland 35; DL - Jack Hines 5, Elijah Blow 10.